Churches aim to help followers of Jesus become more like Jesus; but, how successful are they in actually doing it? In 2004, Willow Creek Community Church under the leadership of Bill Hybels began a research project called REVEAL to determine how well they were doing to grow followers of Jesus. These 3 books provide an overview and results of this ground-breaking research as well as practical ideas churches can implement to better make disciples:
“Is your church really making a difference? How do you know? Do you ever lie awake at night wondering . . . Do our programs really help people grow? Are we putting our resources into ministries that genuinely change lives? Are we helping people become more like Christ, or just keeping them busy? For years, church leaders have relied on numbers to help answer questions like these. In other words, we ask the “How many?” question. How many. . .members? Baptisms? Decisions for Christ? How many attend each week? Are in small groups? Actively serve? Tithe? Numbers can be helpful, but they don’t reveal the whole story. Numbers can’t peer into the human heart. When it comes to spiritual growth, we need to be able to measure more than numbers. We need a glimpse of people’s attitudes, thoughts and emotions. We need a tool that reveals the heart of each person. Now Willow Creek invites you to learn what it discovered in a three-year process of study and research-involving six other churches as well as congregants from Willow Creek. Discover the four segments that characterize the journey of spiritual growth. Learn more about what catalyzes and stunts spiritual growth. And understand how the church needs to change in order to help people become more like Christ. What you discover here may challenge you. Or confirm nagging suspicions you’ve had all along. Either way, the findings in REVEAL will undoubtedly change the way you think about church-and what it really takes to make a difference.”
“Follow Me draws on the latest research to provide unprecedented insights into what drives-and derails-spiritual growth. It addresses questions every ministry leader wrestles with: How does spiritual growth happen? How do we help people move toward a more intimate and committed relationship to Christ? And it reveals the astonishingly honest responses people gave to questions about their spiritual lives. More than anything else, what people really want is change-they want to become more like Jesus. And they’re looking to the church-to you-to help them grow.”
“One of the church’s primary responsibilities is to foster genuine spiritual growth in people’s lives. Today’s pastors bring tremendous effort and passion to this task, but they are often disappointed by people who sit in the pews for years, knowing about Jesus but never really knowing him. In 2004, Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago undertook a three-year study to measure spiritual growth called the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey. Over the next six years, additional data was collected from over a quarter million people in well over a thousand churches of every size, denomination, and geographic area. Move presents verifiable, fact-based, and somewhat startling findings from the latest REVEAL research, drawing on compelling stories from actual people—congregation members of varying spiritual maturity, as well as pastors who are equally candid as they share their disappointments and their successes. It provides a new lens through which church leaders can see and measure the evidence of spiritual growth. The local church is uniquely equipped to foster spiritual growth and challenge people to pursue a life of full devotion to Christ. Move helps pastors and church leaders inspire and direct that challenge with confidence as they lead their congregations to move closer to Christ.”
Your turn… If you are familiar with REVEAL, share some of your insights here.